Thursday, February 19, 2004

AToledo's Ministers: The Associated Press reports on AToledo's declaration to "delegate more power to his ministers in an attempt to silence his critics and halt a plunge in opinion polls." Said the President: "This means they will give more declarations -- they can't have a low profile." The Miami Herald reports on AToledo's expectations of the Peruvian economy including faster growth led by exports.

Violence in Yungay: Reporters Without Borders released a press release today that "vigorously" condemned the murder of radio journalist Antonio De la Torre Echeandia on February 14 in Yungay, "where the mayor's driver has been detained as one of the perpetrators and the mayor [Armando Leon Leon] is widely suspected of being the instigator." (See also this EFE report in Spanish.)

AFF: Japan's Kyodo News Agency reports on the diplomatic mission in Tokyo which "reiterated Peru's call for Japan to hand over former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori." The BBC gives all this mixed signals. It quotes comments from Japan's Foreign Ministry, Hatsuhisa Takashima, who once again repeated that Japan had no extradition treaty with Peru. But the BBC also states that "on Thursday Japanese officials offered the Peruvian delegation more hope, saying Japan had still not made a final decision." A Reuters article quotes Jiro Okuyama, assistant press secretary for the Japanese Foreign Ministry who said "he did not know when Japan would make a decision on the Peruvian request, which was handed to Japan last July." Talks are sheduled to continue on Friday.

The Cost of Living: Latinamerica Press reports that "Peruvians pay the highest electricity and telephone rates in the region," according to a recent report by the Ombudsman Office. The article quotes William Postigo de la Motta and includes clear tables comparing prices with other countries.

Coca Rising: The ECONOMIST reports on a "political awakening" among "Indigenous people in South America," and asks if this "a threat or a boost to democracy." It turns out to be a boost. It cites Interior Minister FRospigliosi suggesting that the coca growers' planned protests later this month "could involve an attempt to overthrow the democratic" government. It also quotes Carlos Ivan Degregori, Antauro Humala Tasso, and declares that "In Peru, mestizaje has gone much further than in Bolivia." The BBC reports on the coca growers who are meeting in Lima "to discuss ways to confront the government over their controversial crop." The article suggests that "coca growers in Peru have a reputation for militant behaviour and [FRospigliosi] has warned that troublemakers could use the meeting as an excuse to provoke violence. "

USAID and Abortion: The Center for Health and Gender Equity released a press release responding to "recent charges by members of the far right in Peru and the United States that USAID- Peru has violated the Global Gag Rule are 'utterly baseless'." Shortly thereafter, the original group responded in kind. ARCHIVE: A recent publication from the Center focused on Peru.

The Arts:
- The Washington Post reviews Peru Negro's 9:30 pm performance Tuesday night at the Kennedy Center Terrace. Unsurprisingly, the Anglo reviewer found the impersonation of "a doddering, loudly flatulent tap dancer" to be "tiresome."
- GameCube's (video game) Pitfall: The Lost Expedition, has this: "While en route to the Peruvian Jungle, Harry's plane crashes in a thunderstorm."

- Australia's Financial Review quotes John Ralston Saul declaring, "Peru and Bolivia are on a precipice," in an article titled, "The end of globalism."

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